Patterico's Pontifications

6/18/2014

The IRS: A Scandal That Keeps On Giving

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:11 pm

[guest post by Dana]

More on the IRS scandal… Due to that notorious computer crash that destroyed two year’s worth of Lois Lerner’s emails, Darrell Issa took action and subpoenaed Lerner’s hard drive. However, it looks like it might be a dead end:

Unfortunately, according to a source in the IRS’ IT department, that subpoena is unlikely to turn up much.

As a matter of practice, says the source, the IRS wipes damaged hard drives that are still operative. “If we can run them, we have to wipe them,” he says. If they will not run, they agency destroys them completely by magnetically degaussing them. In both cases, the hard drives are disposed of. “You’re not supposed to keep them around,” the source says. “You destroy the data.”

This is why the IRS should follow the rules…which are federal laws, actually:

The Internal Revenue Service is required by federal law to keep records of all agency emails and to print out hard copies of the emails to make sure they get saved in the event of a computer glitch.

And here is the relevant portion of the law per the IRS website:

“The Federal Records Act applies to email records just as it does to records you create using other media,” according to the IRS. “Emails are records when they are: Created or received in the transaction of agency business; Appropriate for preservation as evidence of the government’s function and activities; or Valuable because of the information they contain.”

“If you create or receive email messages during the course of your daily work, you are responsible for ensuring that you manage them properly,” according to the IRS. “The Treasury Department’s current email policy requires emails and attachments that meet the definition of a federal record be added to the organization’s files by printing them (including the essential transmission data) and filing them with related paper records. If transmission and receipt data are not printed by the email system, annotate the paper copy.”

“Please note that maintaining a copy of an email or its attachments within the IRS email MS Outlook application does not meet the requirements of maintaining an official record,” the IRS stated. “Therefore, print and file email and its attachments if they are either permanent records or if they relate to a specific case.”

Of course, this entire debacle at the IRS could have been avoided if the agency was not underfunded. Yep.

The IRS has been underfunded for years, and there’s strong reason to believe that it needs more money if it’s going to avoid issues like the one it ran into with conservative non-profits in the future.

Good lord. For a more thorough analysis of underfunding claims, check out Mark Hemingway. Of course Iowahawk had some fun with the underfunded claim, and was on a roll at the Vox Pitches hashtag :

–Dana

28 Responses to “The IRS: A Scandal That Keeps On Giving”

  1. and if the gestapo had had more money that whole world war two thing would’ve had a much happier ending for our german friends

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  2. Vox embarrasses itself pretty regularly I’ve noticed. In many ways it’s a lot more fun to read than the old journolist propaganda pieces by the same people, though, because Vox is shorter -don’t- waste a -lot- of- time- right-to -the- point- stupid, rather than longer try- to- pretend- it’s- good- journalism stupid. I love Vox.

    elissa (62e211)

  3. I think everyone needs to step back and take a breath. The IRS has to do a thankless job to make sure all people are paying their fair share for all of the benefits we receive from our government. If you disagree, maybe you don’t like paying your share for all the programs that make our lives better.

    Think of it like this: If there is crime in your neighborhood, you call the police. The criminal is arrested. Then a district attorney presents evidence of the crime before a grand jury. If the evidence is strong, the grand jury approves an indictment and the suspect is tried by a jury of his or her peers.

    The IRS is much more efficient in a way that can practically can pay for itself, you teabagging haters. They just assume you are guilty and confiscate everything you own and get the win in Tax Court. So, just shut up. Really, just shut up you worthless people who disagree.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  4. i liked the idea that guy with the airplane had

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  5. Government’s don’t under-fund their tax departments. Period.

    …ok, maybe Greece did, but any government with any common… never mind.

    scrubone (c3104f)

  6. They’re not underfunded, they’re overstaffed.

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  7. emails and attachments that meet the definition of a federal record

    The IRS (and Homeland Security even more so) make cleasr that not all e-mails do, and in fact most don’t (whether that is correct or not)

    And who decides? The possessor of that e-mail!

    “Therefore, print and file email and its attachments if they are either permanent records or if they relate to a specific case.”

    Now what percentage of e-mails do you suppose are printed?

    Sammy Finkelman (95e288)

  8. Republicans are fine with comparisons of their adversaries with previous fascists.

    Unremarked upon are the Vichy French and prior fascist collaborators.

    GOP loyalists are part of the Axis and beg extermination.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  9. there ain’t no Heaven
    for an IRS worker
    just the Fires below

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  10. Just watched Jay Sekulow of ACLJ on Fox News about this.

    I know he’s a devout Christian man, but I’ve gotten give him credit for not blowing a gasket and damning Lois Lerner, Eric Holder, Barack Obama and the whole lot of them to hell.

    L.N. Smithee (7d4e89)

  11. To flip Michelle Obama’s infamous quote on its head: For the first time in my adult life I am NOT proud of my country.

    Also interesting that quite a few people in the Obama administration have been previously listed as owing plenty of money to the IRS. Reminds me of Franklin D Roosevelt scolding wealthy Americans for trying to avoid paying taxes and then, based on records revealed decades later, had the audacity to tell the IRS that the income taxes he helped raise to absurdly high levels shouldn’t apply to his own sizable income.

    It’s further interesting the way that Hillary “Sniper Fire” Clinton is (natch) trying to put distance between herself and the galloping corruption of Obama—although she’d be just as bad as he is in that regards, and, if anything, contributed to some of that corruption and lunacy.

    Mark (d1fb37)

  12. Gina Miller at BARBWIRE is asking if GOP lapdogs are ever going to step up and do their jobs.

    WHO WILL STOP THE CRIMINAL BARACK OBAMA?
    by GINA MILLER, June 19, 2014

    Barack Obama (or whatever his name is) and his administration have become so blatantly lawless that non-zombie Americans are more furious than ever that no one in power will move to hold him and his collaborators accountable for their illegal actions against the United States. Many of us wear out our keyboards demanding action against him as we repeat the ever-expanding laundry list of Obama’s crimes against the Constitution and malfeasance in office. Meanwhile, mealy-mouthed congressional “Republicans” sit on their hands and allow him to get away with murder.

    Treason is on that laundry list. You don’t give aid and comfort to the enemies of America, but Obama has. He has given money and weaponry to our Muslim enemies in the Middle East, turning the region upside-down, enabling the Muslim Brotherhood and its buddy groups to expand their hellish power. He has illegally, impeachably, made a deal with Taliban devils to trade a likely deserter and potential traitor for five Guantanamo Bay Muslim terrorist combatants, who will now go back home and resume their bloody “jihad” against the United States and pretty much everyone else in the world. He has refused to protect and defend the lives of the Ambassador and our other men who were attacked and slaughtered by Islamist animals in Benghazi, Libya.

    He has armed criminal Mexican drug cartels with guns from the United States. He has spit on Congress’ authority and illegally granted amnesty to possibly millions of illegal alien “youths” with the stroke of his tyrant pen. He has released countless thousands of criminal aliens onto the streets of America, and he has orchestrated a border-busting flood of illegal alien children and gang members in our southern border states. Yes, as the head of this crime syndicate of an administration, he is responsible for all these things and much more besides…

    Read more at http://barbwire.com/2014/06/19/will-stop-criminal-barack-obama/#3qqSR545KrwZVWOA.99

    ropelight (8a7ec0)

  13. RICO!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  14. gary… best tamp down dem final solution tendencies!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  15. Issa already got information that that hard drive is not very likely to be around any more.

    In her second e-mail in the “Careful What You Ask For” thread, on Wednesday July 20. 2011 ay 10:46 a, Lois Lerner writes: “…it may be too late–don’t they send them off to the hard drive cemetery?”

    Her hard drive crash had been reported more than one month before. But the day before she had met with Carl T. Froelich and wrote him an e-mail at 5:21 pm entitled “Careful What You Ask For” in which she said “I’m taking advantage of your offer to try to recapture my lost personal files.”

    It sounds like Lois Lerner had made sure everyone knew how much she didn’t like the fact her hard disk crash – then when someone offers to help, she wrotes: “Be Careful What You Ask For”

    Lillie Wilburn writes back at 12:10 pm July 20:

    “I checked with the technician and he still has your drive. He wanted to exhaust all avenues to recover the data before sending it to the “hard drive cemetery.”

    And she writes that even after receiving assistance from several highly skilled technicians including HP experts, he still cannot recover the data.

    But there’s one other possibility she is looking into.

    On August 1 she writes that

    “As a last resort we sent your hard drive to CI’s forensic lab to attempt data recovery.

    But the technician is unexpectedly out till August 3 She says she will update Lois on Friday morning (August 5) but she doesn’t, and late Friday, at 7:06 pm, Lois Lerner writes sayinbg she just noticed the e-mail and is there any further word, and at 7:38 pm Lillie Wilburn she was just about to send her an update.

    She wrote that the news is not good. “The sectors on the hard drive were bad,’
    which made the data unrecoverable, and she is very sorry. “Everyone involved tried their best.”

    Saturday evening 7:49 pm. Lois Lerner replied from her Backberry:

    Thanks for trying. I really doappreciate the effort. Sometimes stuff just happens.

    We see from this that , once they give up, the drive is sent to the hard drive cemetery – and it is too late.

    Sammy Finkelman (95e288)

  16. To flip Michelle Obama’s infamous quote on its head: For the first time in my adult life I am NOT proud of my country.

    How old were you when the USA reneged on its solemn commitment to provide South Vietnam with air support and resupply in the event of an invasion? Ford tried to fulfil this obligation, but Congress refused to appropriate the money, and rather than do an 0bama and spend it anyway, he stuck to his constitutional role and allowed our ally to fall, condemning millions to slavery and death. I honestly don’t know what the right thing would have been for Ford to do, but I do know that this was one of the most shameful days in US history. (I’d like to think that in his place I’d have kept our obligation to our ally and then dared Congress to impeach me for it. But I don’t know whether that would be the right thing.)

    Milhouse (b95258)

  17. I think the occasion that forced Lon Nol to Sirik Matak to address President Ford, before Year Zero, same year, has to be up there,

    narciso (3fec35)

  18. Gary Gulrud #8,

    How are things in your underground bunker ? Do you have enough supplies to see you through a post-apocalyptic scenario ?
    You sound like you could use some fresh air—you know, maybe take a stroll through a rose garden, or something.
    And an hour-long consultation with a medical professional might not hurt, either.
    :)

    Elephant Stone (5c2aa0)

  19. I think the occasion that forced Lon Nol to Sirik Matak to address President Ford, before Year Zero, same year, has to be up there,

    That was shameful, yes, but I don’t think the US had an actual formal obligation to protect Cambodia. As for Sirik Matak, the US offered him asylum, but he didn’t want to run away until the very last moment, by which time the US was gone. It was the Red Cross who refused him asylum, and the French who literally, in cold blood, handed him over to be murdered.

    Milhouse (b95258)

  20. Gary is a little more lorne malvo, then lester nygard, but in the land of Governor Target Stuart Sma

    narciso (3fec35)

  21. I am reaching scandal fatigue.
    Until something actually happens and someone has to pay consequences for their criminal behavior, it’s hard to pay attention.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  22. I feel the same way, MD, however, I have to believe that all these seemingly endlesss tics will lead to the eventual prosecution of those who have committed criminal acts. When one takes a step back and looks at these scandals, it’s with a shocking realization that each one of these either directly or indirectly impacts all of our lives, in one way or another.

    Dana (fe2228)

  23. Dana, I agree to hope with you that something will gain traction and run to a just conclusion.
    It’s just that there is so much noise, and so much that hasn’t been nailed that should have been, it’ s hard to keep track of the blow by blow account.
    On one hand, so much has been wrong, it’s hard to think nothing will finally catch up with “them”, but on the other hand, they have gotten by with so much that we thought they couldn’t have, you just need to wonder about the grand deception.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  24. md @21 I am reaching scandal fatigue.

    That happened with Bill Clinton sometime before the Democratic convention in 1992. That is no way to go. Then they just get away with more, and nobody learns anything.

    Sammy Finkelman (95e288)

  25. The noise is intentional and designed to prevent much from being nailed down.

    I hope for just conclusions, too, but ultimately realize and understand, that if not in this life, then in the next. It’s good to keep the eternal picture in mind when things are in such chaos.

    Dana (fe2228)

  26. 23. MD in Philly (f9371b) — 6/19/2014 @ 5:55 pm

    On one hand, so much has been wrong, it’s hard to think nothing will finally catch up with “them”,

    A relatively minor thing, the affair with Monica Lewinsky, and his perjury about it, eventually caught up with Bill Clinton, and pre-occupied him for a while.

    Sammy Finkelman (966b43)

  27. And just how did that catch up with Mr. Clinton, who has made millions in giving talks and writing books, still held in great esteem by the Dems, and whose wife has also made millions, is the darling of the Dems, and is challenging for the claim to fame of being the first woman president? Being pre-occupied for a time seems like a minor inconvenience in light of everything else.

    But as Dana says, justice sometimes seems slow in coming, but when it comes, it hits like an oncoming train.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  28. 27. MD in Philly (f9371b) — 6/20/2014 @ 5:09 am

    And just how did that catch up with Mr. Clinton, who has made millions in giving talks and writing books, still held in great esteem by the Dems, and whose wife has also made millions, is the darling of the Dems, and is challenging for the claim to fame of being the first woman president? Being pre-occupied for a time seems like a minor inconvenience in light of everything else.

    Yes, but it slowed him down.

    But as Dana says, justice sometimes seems slow in coming, but when it comes, it hits like an oncoming train.

    I think the Waco fire will eventually catch up with him.

    Sammy Finkelman (966b43)


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